I commend your editorial on the importance of allowing cameras into the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court should lift its ban on cameras and let the sun shine in. The age-old arguments against cameras in the Supreme Court are specious in the 21st century.
The issue is front and center again after Chief Justice John Roberts' remarked, during his confirmation hearings, that unlike his predecessor, William Rehnquist, he is open to the idea of permitting televised coverage of the court.
While we don't expect to be privy to the closed-door deliberations, we are, certainly, entitled to see and hear the arguments put before the court on issues that impact the lives of millions of Americans each and every day.
There is a fundamental difference between being told what happened and seeing and hearing it for yourself, unfiltered, without anyone else's perspective intervening. As a result, hearing the oral arguments as well as questions posed by the justices is vital to the public's understanding of the judicial process of the highest court in the land.
I have argued and continue to believe that advances in technology such as smaller and unobtrusive cameras expand the experience of being in the courtroom to the greater community, thereby allowing it to observe the functioning of the judicial branch and making "public trials" truly public.
New York City
The 60th anniversary of the first U.S. use of a nuclear weapon was Aug. 6. Sadly, the deadly nature of that weapon and the horror of its use has passed [from public consciousness]. Forgotten are the blinding flash, the incinerated bodies, the gale-like winds, the raging fires, the mushroom cloud taking poisonous air into the atmosphere and beginning to waft it halfway around the world. Longer-term, also forgotten, is the "bomb sickness" taking its slow and painful toll across the years. All this from a "small" 15-kiloton nuclear bomb.
We held things at bay for some 40 years of MAD (mutual assured destruction) with the Soviet Union. It was a policy effective at that time, but very costly. And we were not building long-term security.
Now, the nuclear club is up to some 10 or more nations. None is more secure for having this weapon. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld calls it "another tool in the toolbox."
A sad comment. Tool boxes are to hold tools which can be used to build, to create, to make life better.
Rather than leading the world in turning away from these death weapons, our current policy is to explore new ones, even possibly to use what we have pre-emptively. This is not national security. It is national insecurity and world fear.
WARREN R. TROPF
I read an Oct. 4 Blade article with great interest on the number of bankruptcies that are being filed before the new law takes effect that makes such filings more difficult.
Please be reminded that the new law was lobbied heavily for passage by such institutions as those who are readily giving credit cards (and credit) to those who can afford them least.
"Transfer your balances at only 3.99." "No interest or payments for 12 months." "0 percent for 6 months." These are some of the tactics used by financial institutions to bait poor, unsuspecting souls into the abyss of credit hell.
The bankruptcies should be expected. For those who are living on the edge, the evil of advancing such easy credit will bite these institutions very hard until Oct. 17.
Thirty years after abortion became legal in the United States, technology may be reshaping the abortion debate, but it has not reshaped the fetus (unborn child). The unborn child in the America of 2005 does not differ from the one talked about in 1973, as the Oct. 2 Blade stated. The difference is mankind's knowledge and technology.
In Roe vs. Wade, 1973, the Supreme Court approved abortion based on viability of the unborn child and defined viability as the point when the unborn is "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid."
Since viability is dependent on changing knowledge and technology, should it be the determining factor of whether the unborn are human and worthy of protection?
What will happen when we are able to save lives at 15 weeks? Will those babies suddenly become human and worthy to live?
Can we honestly think babies at 20 weeks were not human 20 years ago but are human now because of improved technology?
Can we believe the unborn at 17 weeks, barely non-viable today, is not a human being, but 10 years from now will be human because hospitals will have better equipment?
Test-tube babies have survived for days outside the womb. With technology, isn't it inevitable the day will come when the unborn will always be potentially viable outside the womb?
The natural point of viability of the unborn human is conception regardless of the technology of mankind. From conception to birth, the only component added to a developing unborn child is nutrition, a point made visible to us through modern technology in the film "Conception to Birth" by National Geographic.
Technologies change; babies do not.
On Sept. 27 more than 200 community leaders attended Lourdes College's Annual State of the College address. Dr. Robert Helmer, president, highlighted the extraordinary growth that the college has experienced over the last few years and reaffirmed his commitment to Lourdes' value-centered education and the supportive community atmosphere of the campus.
As a member of the board of trustees and a life-long resident of northwest Ohio, I am grateful that our community has a resource such as Lourdes College. Some have expressed concern that Toledo's young people are leaving the area.
Through offerings in business, education, nursing, arts and sciences, and graduate programs, Lourdes continues to educate men and women who stay in northwest Ohio and contribute to make the greater Toledo area a great place to live and work.
I am proud to be associated with Lourdes College, truly a gem in our community.
The superintendent of Washington Local Schools wants to retire from a job that pays $147,354 plus $9,700 stipend per year.
He then wants to collect his retirement pay of 88 percent of that base plus get paid a lower rate to do his old job.
Evidently he thinks that he is entitled to this double dipping out of the taxpayer pool.
Obviously his 35 years in the school system have made him oblivious to the financial realities people face in the private sector.
His arrogance is even more troubling. He and his attitude epitomize the problems in our schools and their funding.
It took the natural disasters of Katrina and Rita to reveal the social disaster of poverty. I fear that we'll soon be facing our own natural (gas) disaster as the poor and working poor of our area are burdened by shockingly high heating bills this winter. As with the Gulf Coast devastation, the elderly, the infirm, children, and those on the economic margins will suffer the most.
As a people who allegedly espouse the teachings that we are our brother's keeper, the suffering of our most vulnerable citizens and the economic disparity exposed by these disasters should be a source of national shame.
David A. Hopson
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